Sometimes it is the small changes we make in life that seem to have the biggest impact. Do you find that too?
In the last few days I have made a couple of very small, but apparently significant changes and I feel so much better for it. I do feel slightly bad about feeling positive about one of those changes, but that is because it involves other people and how they might view my choice.
The first change really is tiny. I’ve started to rehydrate. That is to say, I have consciously increased my water intake from next to nothing to something near half the amount I should be drinking each day.
The second change is to have chosen to leave a group of lovely ladies who get together each week. This is the change I feel bad about feeling good about. Let me explain…
The ladies are all lovely. They’re a good laugh and very, very caring.
The problem is – I’m not a group person. I’m also considerably older (on average) than most of them and considerably more boring and serious. In person it can take an eternity for others to get to know me* because I’m usually the one asking the questions.
I’m not the raucous dance party type of person**. I’m the small dinner party type of person. The one who is likely to ask you leading questions about what you read, what you do, what you think about things. That boring, serious stuff^.
So I’ve been trying my best (and failing miserably) to behave like an outgoing, group-loving socialite. Yes. Well, we all know how doing things like that turn out.
In the end I dreaded the thought of going out to the evenings, and not at all because of the people who are part of the group, but because of the groupness of it. The interaction didn’t cheer me or lift me or give me more energy. It was sucking my energy from me to behave in a way that is the total antithesis of who I am.
This week I decided it was time to stop pretending to fit in. I’m just not good at groups. Face it. Deal with it. And get on with life.
So I have. And I have to say that the relief over the past couple of days is palpable. I’m more upbeat, feel better in myself and generally seem to have shaken off some sort of unconscious background stress.
But my thoughtful side feels bad about this relief. What if the ladies think it’s because of them? That I’m relieved not to see them? It’d be easy to think that. But it simply isn’t the case. I’m simply happy not to have to force myself to be what I am not.
I’m not ‘group’. I’m ‘quiet chat over a coffee’.
I’m not chit-chatty. I’m “serious”^^.
I’m blockbuster movies, arthouse, kung fu and foreign fancy pants movies too.
I’m beer and wine.
I’m soul, blues, punk, scat, classical, rock n roll, jazz, folk, new wave, metal, rap and more.
I’m private, not open†.
I don’t stop thinking about stuff – ever. And I like to talk about those thoughts if you are willing to listen.
I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, if you give me a chance††. Best not to though.
I’m stubborn, opinionated, and give a damn about a lot of things.
In fact, I’m a lot of things. Often quite complementary, complex and downright confusticating. What I am not is “group”. No matter how lovely, kind, caring and welcoming. I am simply not group. And I’ve finally grown up, grown a pair and faced that.
But I still feel slightly guilty that I feel better about not going.
* if you’ve read this blog regularly you will probably know me better than some folk I’ve known in real life for months, if not years.
** I do love to dance though.
^ sorry, I meant to say that really interesting, soul-gazing stuff.
^^ I do have a sense of humour. I’m sure I do. Wait, just let me dust it off. The Red Dwarf DVD ownership should prove it!
† Yes, I’m a high maintenance type of friend – you have to actually work to get to know me. I am worth it though. I promise.
†† Have you noticed that most people don’t though? It is a rare person, in my experience, who asks questions and wants to hear other people’s thoughts. Or am I being too cynical? Feel free to let me know.